Fila Throws Its Domestic Ad Account In Play

Fila USA has put its $15-20 million domestic footwear, apparel and in-line skate ad account in review, said Howe Burch, the company’s senior vice president of advertising and sports marketing. The winning agency will in November launch the GH5, a new athletic shoe endorsed by basketball player Grant Hill.
Arnell Group Brand Consulting, New York, resigned the account earlier this month after winning the $30-40 million Tommy Hilfiger business.
Fila had considered returning the account to Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, which handled it from 1993 until Arnell took it over late last year. An FCB representative, however, said the agency met with Fila and was offered only project work. FCB, seeking a more long-term relationship, declined, and will not participate in the review.
Fila has received credentials from more than 85 shops. Burch said he will review these over the next six to eight weeks, meet with select shops and form a short list. Agencies on the list will then be invited to produce speculative creative for the GH5. The winner will likely be assigned all creative and media duties on the account.
Arnell, under contract with Fila at least until June, two weeks ago broke work for baseball player Derek Jeter’s footwear line. Four 15-second spots depict rapid-fire displays of copy and images. Jeter, a Yankee shortstop, is shown swinging and throwing. All spots include the phrases “Can you Jeter?” “The shoes that make Derek move” and the long-standing tagline, created by FCB: “Change the game.” –with Rob Lenihan and Andy McMains